Following the terror attacks in London, employers and HR professionals will play an important role in supporting those staff affected both directly and indirectly.
The Employee Advisory Resource, which typically helps workers to deal with issues such as workplace bullying, has already received many calls for help from workers traumatised by the events and expects more next week.
Dirk Hansen, clinical manager at the Employee Advisory Resource, said: “We’re expecting a marked increase in calls from Monday when the shock has passed and flashbacks start to kick in. Next week will be a difficult time for employers and HR professionals who have an important role to play in supporting their employees.”
The Employee Advisory Resource advises employers to take the following action to help individuals affected by the incidents:
Deal with people as individuals: Take into account their history and character and personal experience of the events. Rather than providing generic support be aware that people who have been in similar incidents before may have a bad reaction even if they weren’t directly affected by yesterday’s events.
Encourage peer support: Allow people to talk about their experiences and normalise it, but be aware of those who don’t have any peer or family support and offer them someone to talk to or face-to-face counselling depending on how affected they are.
Offer practical support: Make things easier by arranging transport, etc.
Be observant: Look out for people displaying prolonged symptoms of depression, low productivity, sleep deprivation or anxiety.
Offer professional help: this can be done in the form of a group critical-incident debriefing, telephone support or one-to-one counselling.